QLine ridership drops 40 percent after implementing fares


The QLine made its public debut on May 12. - COURTESY M-1 RAIL
  • Courtesy M-1 Rail
  • The QLine made its public debut on May 12.

Just like how all good things must come to an end, the QLine ended its summer-long free ride program after Labor Day weekend and began charging the regular fares — resulting in a 40 percent drop in ridership compared to the free trial period.

That free trial ran from opening day on May 12 to after Labor Day weekend, with operator M-1 Rail taking in feedback and making adjustments to improve customer satisfaction.

“We fully expected ridership to dip a little bit when we made this transition,” M-1 Rail spokesman Dan Lijana told the Free Press, “but we are very confident … we’ll see an uptick."

That uptick is anticipated to come from the increased traffic in the Cass Corridor following the opening of Little Caesars Arena, which opened to the public last week. The 21,000-capacity venue will host concerts, hockey games, and basketball games.

Lijana does say that Saturday ridership is almost equal to ridership during the free period, and that some days are better than others, depending on what is going on downtown.

Currently, it costs $1.50 for three hours on the QLine or $3 for a day, with discounts available for senior citizens and others.

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